When learners become educators and educators become learners there is potential for transformation in ways we can't yet imagine. Researchers are constantly learning new things. When that research takes the form of action to promote change in the classroom and design based research becomes central to designing learning experiences in collaboration with students, exciting things emerge. When research fields talk to each other and talk to children who talk to the local and global community learning becomes real and relevant. Technology has the potential to facilitate that communication, collaboration, design, and creation of new knowledge. Human relationship, empathy, and compassion can be further developed and become the underlying "why" to the purpose of learning. Knowledge is great. Without the will to use it to better the lives of others, how can we hope to make a positive impact? There are parallels in adult learning and learning in children and it is fascinating to see that continuation from early childhood through graduate school.
I've had experience teaching all the grades from pre-kindergarten through 10th grade. I received my PhD in Learning Sciences and Human Development from the College of Education, University of Washington. My goal is to implement research into practice and I've had the opportunity to do that since 2007. The constructivistic approach allows for a range of vehicles to get at learning, and STE(A)M mindsets are similar across multiple domains. The goal, then, becomes to help learners see those connections and direct their own learning.
In addition to teaching full time, I also choreograph and direct a dance program each year for 250 students. Rather than just having students memorize and repeat steps, they become co-choreographers and work with constraints of time, space, and movement, while aiming for an aesthetic. The arts have also influenced design thinking in STE(A)M problem solving.
Interestingly enough, there are similar processes for construction, design, and reiteration, when students approach challenges with gaming in education. I conducted research in gaming for four years with Portal 2 in the classroom.
In addition to Project Based Learning and STEM education, I've been pursuing research and design with augmented and virtual reality and possibilities in new ways of learning in formal and informal environments.